Friday, January 9, 2015

Those Charlie Hebdo Cartoons Against the Prophet Muhammad Are Needlessly Offensive

By now, everyone knows that French newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s Paris-based headquarters was attacked by three Muslim gunmen in retaliation for insults against the Prophet Muhammad.

There’s no excuse for that savagery. There’s no excuse for behaving as if your beliefs and sensibilities are the only ones that matter, much less brutalizing anyone who disagrees with you.

That’s just a given. Radical Islam needs to be stopped. Its followers are terrorists who don’t deserve to share the same breathing space as the rest of humanity. They’ve made it very clear over the past few decades that they can’t be reasoned with.

So yes, we do need to stand up to them. We do need to fight back and tell them in no uncertain terms that their fascism will not be tolerated.

However, there’s another side to this story that needs to be considered too…

I got to see the controversial cartoons Charlie Hebdo published over the years, thus making itself a repeated and unrepentant target for Muslim extremists. And I gotta tell you, they were needlessly offensive.

There’s the fact that Muslims don’t believe the Prophet Muhammad should be portrayed in artwork at all, so drawing cartoons of him in the first place is considered disrespectful. Which Charlie Hebdo knew very well. But the particular cartoons it drew?

Well, check them out yourself and see what you think.

I guess I just don’t see the point in openly mocking people’s religious beliefs. I mean, I have mine. And I genuinely believe that other religions are wrong. But that doesn’t mean I should go around deliberately offending them with no regard to their feelings.

Now, I get that Muslim extremists are offended by everything. They would be offended by my boot-cut jeans, tank top and long-sleeved shirt. Why? Because my face is still showing.

They’re offended by my religion too… Not even so much that I’m a Christian but that I’m not a Muslim extremist like them. And they would probably be offended too that I hold a professional job, that I’m American (Great Satan and all, you know), and that I’m not barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

In other words, they’re ridiculous. Again, there’s no point in even trying to reason with them. Honestly, I think they should just be wiped off the face of the planet.

But adding insult on top of injury? I can’t see any bravery – or sense – in being a close-minded jerk.

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